No End (film)

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No End
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKrzysztof Kieślowski
Written byKrzysztof Kieślowski
Krzysztof Piesiewicz
Produced byRyszard Chutkowski
StarringGrażyna Szapołowska
Maria Pakulnis
Aleksander Bardini
CinematographyJacek Petrycki
Edited byKrystyna Rutkowska
Music byZbigniew Preisner
Release date
17 June 1985
Running time
109 minutes

No End (Polish: Bez końca) is a 1985 film directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and starring Grażyna Szapołowska, Maria Pakulnis, and Aleksander Bardini. The film is about the state of martial law in Poland after the banning of the trade union Solidarity in 1981.[1] Kieślowski worked with several regular collaborators for the first time on No End.


A Polish translator, Ulla (Grażyna Szapołowska), grieves for her recently deceased lawyer husband. As she copes with her loss, the family of her husband's last client, Darek Stach, contacts her in need of legal documents and advice. Ulla struggles with caring for her son, and alternately trying to remember and to forget her husband, while Darek struggles to come to terms with his imprisonment for political dissidence. Ulla's husband's ghost observes these events, occasionally becoming visible to Ulla and Darek.


  • Grażyna Szapołowska as Urszula Zyro
  • Maria Pakulnis as Joanna Stach
  • Aleksander Bardini as Lawyer Mieczyslaw Labrador
  • Artur Barciś as Darek Stach
  • Danny Webb as The Englishman
  • Jerzy Radziwilowicz as Antek Zyro
  • Michal Bajor as Miecio (aplikant)
  • Marek Kondrat as Tomek, Antek's friend
  • Tadeusz Bradecki as Hipnotyzator
  • Krzysztof Krzeminski as Jacek Zyro
  • Marzena Trybała as Marta Duraj
  • Adam Ferency as Rumcajs (nom de guerre after Rumcajs)
  • Elzbieta Kilarska as Antoni's Mother
  • Jerzy Kamas as Judge Biedron
  • Hanna Dunowska as Justyna
  • Jan Tesarz as Joanna's Father
  • Andrzej Szalawski as Lawyer[2]


The film was Kieślowski's first writing collaboration with the screenwriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz, who co-wrote the screenplays for all of Kieślowski's subsequent films, and the earliest of his films with music by Zbigniew Preisner, who provided the musical score for most of Kieślowski's subsequent films. As in his later scores, Preisner's music is explicitly referenced by the characters in the film itself, in this case with the main character's son playing the theme on a piano at home.


No End received positive critical reviews. In his review in The A.V. Club, Noel Murray felt that the film deserved to be "counted among his acknowledged classics." Murray gave it an A+ rating.[3]

In an interview, Kieślowski later said of the film:

"…it was terribly received in Poland. I’ve never had such unpleasantness over any other film as I had over this one. It was received terribly by the authorities; it was received terribly by the opposition, and it was received terribly by the Church. Meaning, by the three powers that be in Poland. We really got a thrashing over it. Only one element didn't give us a thrashing, and that was the audience… never in my life have I received as many letters or phone calls about a film from people I didn't know as I did after No End. And all of them, in fact—I didn’t get a single bad letter or call—said that I’d spoken the truth about martial law."

— Krzysztof Kieślowski, in Stok, Danusia (1993). Kieslowski on Kieslowski. London: Faber & Faber. pp. 136–37., quoted in [4]

In his review in Cinemania, Dan Jardine wrote, "No End is Kieslowski’s dry run for Blue, both are wrenching and beautifully-lensed studies of one woman’s struggle to deal with the death of loved ones in a larger politically-charged context. Where they differ: While similarly bleak and sorrowful, Blue finds a tortured peace, a painful hope, where No End is a giant sinkhole of despair."[5]

In his review in the Chicago Reader, Jonathan Rosenbaum called the film "terse, suggestive, and pungent, with juicy performances by Bardini and Szapolowska."[6]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 90% based on 10 reviews.[7]


  1. ^ "No End". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  2. ^ "Full cast and crew for No End". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  3. ^ Murray, Noel (7 September 2004). "No End". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  4. ^ Redmond, Dennis (14 May 2014). "The World Is Watching: Video as Multinational Aesthetics, 1968-1995" (PDF). Southern Illinois University Press. p. 99. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  5. ^ Jardine, Dan (14 November 2004). "No End". Cinemania. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  6. ^ Rosenbaum, Jonathan. "No End". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  7. ^ "No End (Bez konca)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2020-02-02.
  • Insdorf, Annette (1999). Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieślowski. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 0-7868-6562-8.
  • Kieślowski, Krzysztof (1998). Stok, Danusia (ed.). Kieślowski on Kieślowski. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-17328-4.

External links[edit]